This week I’m starting to prepare for Passover, which begins this coming Friday at sunset, and I am reminded of an experience from a few years ago, when I got an email from a neighbor asking if anyone knew where she could find horseradish. Now it turns out that I had planted a horseradish root a few years prior, so I happened to know the answer to her question.
The next morning she showed up at 9 am sharp, and soon afterwards another friend showed up with a whole bunch of children in tow. We dug and dug, and then we dug some more, and when we were done, we had enough horseradish for everybody, along with some fragrant green onions.
After that, I put the horseradish into a big tub to soak and get all the mud off. The next day I scrubbed it well, and then placed it right in the center of our seder plate.
It was such a great way to get ready for the holiday. Standing in mud up to my knees was a wonderful way to be reminded that Passover is not just the Festival of Matzah–it’s also known as the Festival of Spring. And when I came inside to write my post, it occurred to me that not only is it impossible to dig up horseradish fast, but it’s also impossible to eat it fast. Horseradish is slow food, and that’s not negotiable.
Meanwhile, I’ve come up with nine more ways to slow down. It’s one of the most valuable things we can do for ourselves and our families:
1. Dig it up yourself.
2. Put it in a crock pot.
3. Eat it at a table with your friends.
4. Use a cloth napkin.
5. Invite some friends over to eat with you.
6. Turn off the television, the radio, the computer and your cell phone.
7. Before you pick up your spoon, take a deep breath or say a blessing of thanks.
8. Put down your fork between bites.
9. Eat at a table, and not in a moving vehicle.
10. Chew your food.
Happy holidays to all my dear readers, and best wishes for wonderful meals prepared with care, enjoyed at leisure, and surrounded by loved ones.